James Comey, a prosecutor of commodities trader Marc Rich, is supporting Eric Holder for Attorney General despite Holder’s role in the Rich pardon case, Legal Times reports. Comey, who later served as Deputy Attorney General, was in charge of the Rich case from 1987 to 1993 when he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York City. Comey said that Holder’s failure to object to Rich’s pardon by President Bill Clinton “was a huge misjudgment, one for which he has, appropriately, paid dearly in reputation.”
Still, Comey hopes “very much he is confirmed,” telling Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, “I know a lot of good people who have made significant mistakes. I think Mr. Holder’s may actually make him a better steward of the Department of Justice because he has learned a hard lesson about protecting the integrity of that great institution from political fixers,” Comey said. He called Holder “a smart, decent, humble man.” Holder’s confirmation hearing is set for Jan. 15.